Questions to ask when helping with mathematics homework


Mathematics homework can be a challenging time in many households, so how do you improve your child’s confidence when the stress runs high? You can start by asking the right questions.

It’s important to remember to stop yourself from taking over your child’s homework when they ask for help. Doing so can encourage them to give up too easily or to ask for help whenever a problem starts becoming difficult.

When you ask questions, you’re giving your child the opportunity to explain the problem they’re working on. Often after simply explaining it out loud, they get much closer to figuring out a solution.

Some good questions to ask after you’ve been summoned for help include:

  • What is the problem you’re working on?
  • What does the question say?
  • Are there any words in the question that you don’t understand?
  • Where do you think you should begin?
  • Can you find some help in your textbook or notes?
  • What have you done so far?
  • Is there anything that you already know that might help with this particular problem?

And, even if you know the answer already, you can ask:

  • Why don’t we look for help together on the Internet?

It’s important to empower your child with crucial problem solving skills to figure out things for themselves, and be proactive about finding a solution when they get stuck. By showing them how to seek out answers when you or their teacher isn’t there, you’re encouraging them to become more independent with their learning. Remember, your role is to support homework, not to do it!

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